Recent Television on DVD/BD

I don't watch a lot of live television, but thanks to the magic of DVD/BD/Netflix Instant, I can catch up on a series pretty quickly if I want to. The biggest issue with this approach happens when the series isn't done yet, and you have to then either slow down and wait between episodes (and deal with things like commercials!) or wait a year or more for the next set of DVDs to come out. That being said, watching a TV series like this can get really addictive, really fast. Here's a few things I've been watching lately:
  • Sherlock - Without a doubt the best Sherlock Holmes series, I've probably ever seen. This includes movies, like Guy Richie's recent Sherlock Holmes and the 1985 Spielberg-produced Young Sherlock Holmes (which I have a soft spot for, despite the fact that no one ever knows what I'm talking about when I reference that movie). Heck, it's even better than the Sherlock-inspired House, which was probably the best modernized update of the Sherlock Holmes ideal... until now. I've only seen the first two episodes, but they're long episodes (90 minutes each), and there have only been three episodes created so far (with another three scheduled to air later this year). But this is high quality stuff. It's got a contemporary setting (unlike the usual Victorian setting) and excellent writing, casting, and acting. The visual style of the show even shows more flare than your typical British production. Holmes has his usual quirks, though he is altogether more likeable here than Greg House or Robert Downey Jr.'s version of Holmes. Watson is fun, though I don't think he's really been given enough time to really shine just yet. And of course, the mysteries are intriguing (indeed, I rather enjoy this more than what limited stories I've actually read). Highly recommended. Thanks to Otakun for his recommendation a while back, as I surely wouldn't have put this in my Netflix queue without that recommendation. He's also got some extra info on the series and some interesting links to online tie-in sites (like Watson's blog, etc...)
  • Fringe - I was in the mood for an X-Files style show, and so I popped this series into my Netflix queue and what I found was something that started off in a similar vein, but which pretty quickly managed to establish its own identity. The show revolves around a series of strange science-gone-wrong accidents that seem to be occurring (ominously referred to as, The Pattern), the idea being that there are these mad-scientists out there experimenting with chemical and biological weapons out in public. It's creepy stuff, actually. Of course there's the FBI's Fringe division, lead by Agent Olivia Dunham and her sidekicks: Walter and Peter Bishop. Walter is a fun character, eccentric and brilliant. You get the impression that he's done a lot of bad things in the past, but he's clearly a different person now. And so on. It takes its time, but it eventually establishes a main, overarching conflict which seems pretty compelling. Some of the execution is a bit silly or uninspired (tons of cliches), but it's a generally entertaining series. What passes for "science" in the show is a bit fluffy, but coming from the guys who dreamed up "red matter" in the Star Trek reboot, that's par for the course. In that respect, it reminds me a bit of Lost. Again, generally entertaining, but not something I'm convinced will pay off that well. Still, I'd like to watch more of it (alas, we're well into season 3 now, so I have no idea when I'll be able to catch up).
  • Breaking Bad - Based mostly on the enthusiastic recommendations of the /Filmcast, I checked out the short first season of this series about a high school chemistry teacher who learns he's going to die, and to pay for the cancer treatments, he teams up with a former student to cook meth. It's a lot better than I'm making it sound, and very well acted, but on the other hand, there's something a little off about the show that I can't quite place. It was an interesting first season, but I can't say as though I'm all that excited to revisit these characters. I suppose that I can see why the series has inspired so much love, but it just isn't clicking with me. I may give it another chance at some point, but probably not anytime soon.
There are a bunch of other series I have in the queue, including Veronica Mars, Deadwood, and a few others (including some Anime). And, of course, the next season of Sherlock.

Update: Damn you, cliffhanger! (Just finished the last episode of Sherlock.)